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Welcome to my world...

Occasional musings on "life, the universe, and everything" from a fiber junkie.

June 26, 2007

Glutton for punishment, much?
Okay, we all know that I'm not - and never have been - the kind of knitter to restrict myself to just one or two projects.  But what is it about this time of year that induces me to launch myself into yet another enormous lace project?  Last year it was The Amazing Lace, with Fiddlesticks Knitting's "Peacock Feathers" pattern.  This year, it's Pink Lemon Twist's "Mystery Stole 3" that has seduced me away from my other WIPs.
I mean, I've already got Kinzel's "Rose of England" on needles, plus Mmario's "Queen Anne's Lace" test knit, not to mention two pair of socks and a summer cotton top.  So why, in the name of all that's wooly, have I committed myself to knitting Melanie's mystery stole on top of everything else?
I'd love to point fingers and lay blame elsewhere, but, truth be told, it's most likely just the result of a particularly virulent strain of Startitis that seems to have gotten hold of me.  It hasn't helped the condition at all that I recently acquired copies of Jane Sowersby's Victorian Lace Today and Pam Allen and Ann Budd's lovely collaboration Lace Style.  Each of those books has several patterns that lit up my imagination, and the infamous Stash Closet contains appropriate yarns for many of them. 
I'm doomed.
Because, you see, there's also that bagful of Dale of Norway's "Falk" that would dearly love to be transformed into Fiona Ellis' "Celtic Icon" pattern. 
And the umpty zillion hanks and skeins of sock yarns offering to keep my toes warm this winter. 
And the Rockin' Sock Club shipments that keep turning up. 
And the book of Faroese shawl patterns that my favorite enabler (Mmario) loaned me. 
And the Sea Silk whimpering quietly in the corner because I haven't cast it on yet.
And the ball of JoJoLand "Harmony" that I won in a blog contest over at Keep Talking.  Since I'll be seeing JoAnne again at next year's SeaSocks, I'd like to have that yarn knit up into a shawl or stole to wear during the cruise.
It almost looks as if it's time to (shudder) start setting some priorities.   Given my notoriously fickle nature with knitting projects, I'm going to need to make some tough decisions, the first of which was to frog the Hanging Garden stole that was in progress.  The ball of Schaefer "Andrea" will go back to the stash closet, to wait for a better pattern match. 
Socks will continue - they're the perfect project for the long bus ride to the mall or the grocery store.  Besides, winter will arrive again, and I'll need warm woolies to warm my forever-frozen toes.
As for the Mystery Stole, something that rather boggles my mind is that I actually knit a swatch for it.  Yeah.  Me.  Swatching.  How spooky is that?  I even tried attaching beads to it, but that got really ugly really fast. 
Still, the pale gray Cashwool from Lana Borgosesia is looking lovely on a 3.25mm needle, all by its lonesome.  We don't need no stinkin' beads! 
Meanwhile, in spite of horrendously hot and humid weather, I'll be chugging away at the "Queen Anne's Lace" for the rest of this week, praying that I won't run out of yarn.  Wish me luck, okay?
10:31 am edt

June 11, 2007

Knitting in Public
Saturday was WorldWide Knit in Public Day, so the "sock in progress" and I ventured forth to the local mall's food court.  As usual, no other knitters turned up (not even the ones who had said they would - not entirely a surprise, but still...). Heck,  that never stopped me before. 
Fortifying myself with a sandwich and a large soft drink, I settled into a spot near the center of the food court and got out the sock.   Muggles nearby moved to other tables.   Sheesh, people, it's only string... okay, maybe the four pointy sticks had something to do with their departures.  Maybe not.  Who cares?
Two hours later, my posterior began to complain about the hard steel chair, and no other knitters were anywhere in sight, so I decided to move my center of operations elsewhere.    It was nearly time for a bus that would take me back downtown, where I could relax in a park for a bit and then ramble homeward.
Passengers on public transportation really don't deal well with the sight of someone knitting a sock.  Again, this has never stopped me before and it didn't stop me on Saturday either.   What did cause me to put away the sock was the young mother with a toddler who sat next to me for part of the ride.  No way was I going to risk impaling the child (or the child grabbing the sock and hurling it down the aisle, as he seemed intent on doing). 
Still in all, the "sock in progress" has reached the toe decreases, and knitting happened in public in Syracuse.
Now if I could just make this horrible case of Startitis go away...
12:02 pm edt

June 8, 2007


The Knitting Curmudgeon asked this question on her blog:
Who, other than Elizabeth Zimmermann, has been your greatest knitting inspiration? And that person need not be famous.
While I posted a brief comment there, I thought I'd expand on it a bit here.
Firstly, Mom.  From my earliest childhood, I watched my mother knit every evening after the day's chores were done.  She produced some amazing garments for herself, for me, and for other family members over the course of more that seventy years of knitting.  I grew up thinking that having needlework of some sort in hand was normal. 
She taught me the basics of knitting, and then stood aside and let me make my own mistakes - the two-tone blue worsted turtleneck sweater with the intarsia fleur-de-lis on the front is a prime example.   Then again, I was thirteen when I perpetrated that atrocity, and at thirteen the strangest things will look appealing.
Her own work has stood the test of time.  For example, when I was about 18 months old, she knit me a navy-blue wool coat.  When I outgrew it, the coat was passed along to one of my cousins, and it warmed at least thirty other children before somehow making its way back to Mom.  After all that use (and abuse), it's still in great shape - only missing one button.  Now that's what I call quality workmanship!
More recently, after a many-year hiatus from knitting, I was inspired to pick up the needles again upon seeing my buddy Mmario working on an amazing shawl (of his own design) for his mother.  His work rekindled my interest in knitting, and more specifically, in knitting lace.  He continues to be an influence (not to mention an enabler), directing my attention to yarns and techniques that I hadn't previously encountered.
A third important influence in my recent knitting is the community of knit-bloggers and knitting forum participants.  Your work never ceases to amaze and inspire me, spurring me on to improve my skills and try new things.  The recent SeaSocks cruise was a prime example of this:  five days of inspiration overload, looking at all the gorgeous yarns and projects (and finished objects) the other knitters had with them.   You are amazing, each and every one of you!

11:21 am edt

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"Everything happens for a reason, except possibly football." -- Terry Pratchett